Sunday, October 23, 2005

W-Five feature on personal information theft and fraud

Last night (and this afternoon) was the season premiere of CTV's investigative news program, W-Five. The second feature on the show was about the theft of and trafficking in personal information that occurs in Canada and the United States. It chonicled a Canadian connection to the infamous Shadowcrew bust in the US and the efforts to two local police departments to deal with the Canadian angle. The RCMP refused to appear on camera but wrote to the reporters that they did not deal with it because of a lack of resources. Not a high priority, the reporter inferred.

The story also featured an interview with the Minister of Industry, David Emerson who was obviously very uncomfortable. A data theft disclosure law is not a priority of the Canadian government and he expects Canadian companies will consistenly do the right thing by letting customers know if their information is compromised:

A disclosure law is being considered in Ontario, but on the federal level, virtually nothing. We spoke to the man responsible, Industry Minister David Emerson, who admitted he didn't really know how many Canadian companies have been breached or how many Canadians have had their information stolen.

"We don't know with precision, let me put it that way," said Emerson. "We know in an approximate way."

Though Emerson admits the impact of the crime is huge, he also says the legislation just isn't a priority for the governing Liberals. But not to worry, he says, most companies will do the right thing.

"I would say that there are many more cases of companies who have properly notified their customers than there are companies who have not," says Emerson.

But, Emerson admits, he doesn't know for sure.

Read the summary of the feature here: No One's Safe

You can also see the video, starting at about 12:30 in the broadcast: click here. Video should open in Windows Media Player.

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